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Southern Style

by Mark Mayfield, Southern Accents

      "What is Southern Style? " is a style that is accessible, incorporates the best in fabrics and furniture design, includes objects of sentimental value along with objects of great worth, and remains -always- grounded in the past." Mark Mayfield, Southern Style

The large coffee table book begins with Living spaces. In fine text beside or below photographs of apartments in other countries, Mayfield and staff describe style and share historical tidbits about the entry hall, living room, and family room. Such as, the large entry hall was used as the eating and sleeping area during the summer because it was the coolest room in the house. In the Dining chapter, photographs in various Southern states show a variety of designs in the Eating areas from formal to cozy. When it comes to bedrooms, Mayfield writes with their little niches and fire places, Sleeping areas are more than just a bed area. Photographs show style ranging from elegance, to quaint, to shabby chic. The "Accessories" chapter is a favorite of mine. Mayfield writes "The past is still alive in today’s interiors." In Southern style many accessories are collections passed down from generation to generation. When writing about southern style, the garden - an extension of the southern home - has to be included. Mayfield writes: "Although English garden design has a powerful grip on the imagination; the French influence is growing rapidly..." I have to agree, because I see this in my little garden, as well as neighbors’. The photographs reveal grand porches, terraces, gazebos and water gardens. Magnificent views one can’t help but desire.

Mayfield also touches on the evolution of architecture and the new traditionalists, as well as some interesting photographs of historical houses left untouched - such as The Whitney Plantation with its faux painting and stenciling. For your own up-close view, consider visiting any of the historic homes listed on page 196.

There are 215 color photographs by Tria Giovan. To see more of southern design and style check out Southern Accents. The magazine focuses on Southern interior design, lifestyle, and gardens.

The Book

Bulfinch / Hachette
September 6, 2006
Paperback - Reprint edition
Nonfiction / Misc / Decorating
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The Reviewer

Brenda Weeaks
Reviewed 2006
© 2006